For over 100 years, asphalt has been the most widely used material for paving parking lots and roadway surfaces. Compared to other paving options, asphalt offers many advantages: lower costs, quicker installation times, higher durability, and longer lifespans. Your asphalt pavement can provide decades of service if it is properly maintained. Being proactive with preventative maintenance efforts rather than reactive with corrective/emergency repairs has been proven to be more cost-effective in the long run.

A preventative pavement maintenance plan is vital to protecting your investment– especially with today’s increasing budget restraints.

Here’s what to look for when walking your property:

Here’s what to look for:

RAVELING

RAVELING

Raveling is when asphalt starts to disintegrate and is the primary indicator of structural failure within the pavement. Usually, this leads to loose rocks, gravel, or sand collecting on the pavement surface and in the gutters. Not only is it unsightly; raveling also reduces skid resistance, roughens the pavement surface, and exposes the layers underneath to further deterioration.

If raveling becomes prevalent, then it’s time to schedule pavement replacement or repair immediately.

RUTTING

RUTTING

Rutting is a permanent deformation of the asphalt pavement that commonly shows up as wheel indentations in high-traffic zones. Avoid repeatedly parking vehicles in the same spots to prevent creating repetitive stress points. The constant heavy pressure and weight on the same area will cause rutting and lead to the formation of cracks and sinking.

Rutting will require an overlay or a thin surface patch.

DISCOLORATION

DISCOLORATION

Old or damaged asphalt may start to look dull and whiteish in color.

When discoloration becomes prevalent, it’s time to replace the asphalt.

CRACKS

CRACKS

You may notice many different types of cracks on your pavement. Regardless, you must seal the cracks as soon as you identify them. Once a crack appears, it will quickly grow and expand, allowing water to seep in and accumulate. As the cracks grow, they create extensive webs of cracks throughout your pavement surface, leaving it damaged and ugly.

Crack sealing prevents further deterioration by keeping water and debris from penetrating and damaging the base or sub-base of the asphalt.

POTHOLES

POTHOLES

Potholes in a parking lot can be dangerous on top of being an eyesore. You could be putting your business at risk if a pothole contributes to a fall, accident, or injury. Paying out for vehicle or personal injury damages is exponentially more expensive than patching a few potholes.

Be sure to address all potholes as soon as possible in order to avoid having a lawsuit on your hands.

GRADE DEPRESSIONS

GRADE DEPRESSIONS

Check for areas of the asphalt that are not level with the rest of the lot, especially in the major thoroughfares. If specific sections have settled in at a lower point than surrounding areas, this is probably grade depression. Grade depressions often form due to improper installation by your paving contractor.

Grade depressions in the pavement will require either resurfacing or infrared repairs.

SEALCOAT

SEALCOAT

Routine sealcoating is essential to the longevity of your asphalt pavement surface. Sealcoating is the most cost-effective way to keep your asphalt looking its best while preventing damages that require more expensive repairs. Your pavement should be sealcoated one year after installation and every 2 ½ years thereafter.

Has it been over three years since your lot was last sealcoated? If so, it’s time to schedule sealcoating as soon as possible.

POOLING WATER

POOLING WATER

Do not ignore areas on your asphalt with visible standing water. Eventually, the water will seep beneath the asphalt and weaken the overall integrity of the pavement, causing it to collapse over time. Pooling water in the summer means icy safety hazards as winter approaches.

We recommend repairing your drainage structures before freezing temperatures hit to ward off snow and ice buildup.

FADED MARKINGS

FADED MARKINGS

Your visitors should be able to easily identify all parking stalls, ADA areas, directional arrows, crosswalks, no parking zones, and speed bumps. A fresh coat of paint will make your parking lot more attractive while letting your visitors know that you care about their safety. Pavement markings that are clearly visible against the asphalt will help your visitors to navigate your parking lot more efficiently.

We prefer using thermoplastic paint because it is highly durable and will stay vibrant for many years to come.

STAINS

STAINS

Gas/oil leakage from parked cars, motorcycles, or boats will damage the pavement surface. Diesel fuel, in particular, will corrode the asphalt very quickly.

Remove oil stains from the asphalt pavement, or replace areas entirely, based on the severity.

TRIP HAZARDS

TRIP HAZARDS

Damaged concrete sidewalks, curbs, gutters, car stops, or bollards can cause a safety hazard for visitors, customers, and employees.

Mark any trip hazards with spray paint until the proper repairs can be completed.

SIGNAGE

SIGNAGE

Inspect all parking lot signs to ensure that they are legible and free of damage. Your parking lot’s signage has to be in good condition for safety, aesthetic, and efficiency reasons.

EDGES

EDGES

The lot’s perimeter, where the asphalt meets the lawn, is a common problem area for damages. Unwanted weeds often sneak their way through the asphalt surface and damage it from below with their roots. Also, poor drainage can wash away the sub-base near the edges, especially if on an incline. Tackle any drainage issues with a trained contractor, and consider adding curbs to the edges of your lot.

Curbing can reduce the amount of weeding and grass growth. Not only is this solution practical, but it will boost the visual appeal of your parking lot, too.

Get in touch with our team of experts!

As you complete your asphalt pavement maintenance checklist, consider calling the national pavement experts at Pavement Solutions for any issues you notice on your pavement. We use our decades of experience, proven techniques, and the latest equipment available to get projects done right the first time– in a cost-effective and timely manner.

Pavement Solutions provides the highest level of customer service, professionalism, and services including concrete and asphalt paving, sealcoating, crack sealing, pothole patching, infrared repairs, line striping, custom pavement marking, signage, drainage installation/repairs, and the installation of car stops, bollards, and speed bumps.

For more information, get your free assessment and estimate using our request form, or give us a call at (815) 675-0696.

Posted by C. Butler on 8/1/23